One of the best things that have resulted for us in a year of downtime during Covid-19 is that we have had plenty of time to iron out our new 3 year plan. This is a life and business outline that we will follow over the next 3 years that will provide us with a focus and direction of our energy.
There are 3 reasons for writing this out.
- For our own clarity, and to hold ourselves accountable to our plans and goals.
- To inspire anyone reading to exceed their own expectations of themselves.
- So that our students and peers can see where we have openings in our schedule, and plant the seed for future collaborations during this timeframe.
Table of Contents
I’ll begin by listing the actual timeline, and then below provide further detail for main points on the timeline, and conclude with an explanation of why I plan like this, why I think it’s important that I do this, and through that explanation indicate why I think it would be beneficial for anyone to plan the next few years of their lives in chunks of time in a similar way.
Note: I am available to offer workshops at your studio or assist you in teacher trainings in any of the months that are not already planned below.
Return to the USA for Covid vaccinationsAugust
Move to northern ItalySeptember
Process citizenship by descent (Jure Sanguinis)September-December
2022 of Our 3 Year Plan
Move to southern Italy, perhaps the Puglia region.
Find a yoga studio to teach regularly scheduled classes in.January-March
First Italy Retreat (Salento)April
India Pilgrimage (Gangotri and Rishikesh)May
Travel/Workshop various European countries/yoga studios
Contact me if you’re interested in hosting a weekend workshop series at Your Studio!June-August
Italy Retreat (Tuscany)September
Unplugged Meditation Retreat (Vietnam)October
2023 of Our 3 Year Plan
Mexico Retreat (Baja)January
Nepal or Bhutan retreat?April
Travel/Workshop various European countries/yoga studios
Contact me if you’re interested in hosting a weekend workshop series at Your Studio!July-August
Unplugged Meditation Retreat (Thailand)October
2024 of Our 3 Year Plan
Notes on 2021:
I never knew that I was eligible for Italian citizenship through descent until just a couple of years ago. While living in Thailand, we had to physically leave the country every 90 days even though we had work visas and permits. Those “border runs” became something that I dreaded, and pushed me to begin researching where in the world I could live (besides the US) where I could obtain a permanent residency. Through that research I discovered accidentally that according to the Italian rules of citizenship, I was eligible!
It’s no small matter to prove your birthright citizenship, and we’ve been collecting all of the documents that I need for well over a year. I’ve had to find and obtain certified copies of life documents (birth, marriage, death, naturalization) for all of my ascendents going back to my great grandparents.
We’re at the end of that process and it is our current intention to live in Italy for the rest of our lives as Italian citizens. I will be unable to work or travel while I obtain residency in Italy, so we don’t have any new programs planned during that process. It could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to complete once I turn everything in.
Notes on 2022:
Once my citizenship process is complete, we intend to move to southern Italy. We like the thought of living in the warmer areas, and have our eyes on Lecce in Puglia. We hope to buy our first house in the area, and will be keeping an eye out for the perfect place.
I hope to find a local studio where I can teach regular classes. I’m not too interested in owning or managing a physical studio location again, but I really want a place where I can keep my teaching skills sharp, and I just generally enjoy teaching and having a home studio community that I can be involved in.
Yoga Retreats in Italy
In the spring of 2022 we will host our first retreat in the new region that we call home. I hope to shift the majority of our work to a yoga retreat format as opposed to running yoga teacher training year round. We feel that we can better serve our existing student base through week-long continuing education programs that are more accessible than the month-long programs.
I hope to strike a balance between holiday retreats, and continuing education retreats. Besides, when people come to visit us in Italy, there will be A LOT more to do than stay inside a yoga practice space! We’ll take advantage of the location to get out with our students and explore amazing Italy while we study yoga.
We will for sure update you via email and social media when we develop exact dates for these upcoming retreats, programs, and training. If you’re not already on our mailing list, then sign up here to make sure you receive those updates:
Ali and I have both wanted to return to India since we were last there. I previously went in 2017 for extensive pranayama study, and Ali went separately for her 200 hour yoga teacher training.
In 2022 we will schedule an amazing journey into some spiritual places in the Himalayas where we can practice yoga and attend talks by some really special yogis. We’re planning on a 10-12 day trip split between 5 nights in the mountains and 5 nights in Rishikesh. I hope and suspect that it will be an experience that touches all of our souls and has a profound effect on all of our yoga practices.
Summer Yoga Workshops
I have nearly 250 graduates of our teacher training from over 40 different countries. These teachers are spread around the world. It is a dream of mine to travel to the studios where my students work and teach weekend workshops with them in their communities.
I have already done this sort of thing in Germany, but I hope to make this a bigger reality beginning in the summer of 2022. Europe will be really accessible for me living in Italy, but I will not rule out travel to the Americas, Australia, or Asia either. If we have an existing relationship – if you’ve completed one of my training sessions in the past, then please reach out to me and let’s start discussing this possibility.
300 Hour Teacher Training
It was a real bummer to cancel our 300 hour training in 2020 due to Covid travel restrictions. The time is not right yet to attempt this in 2021, but in 2022 it will return. If you’re thinking about doing a 300 hour training with me, I will suggest that you make a deposit as soon as we open enrollment. I believe this training will certainly sell out as demand for it from my 200 hour graduates has been high, and space will be limited.
This training is like no other, and extensively focused on the professional teacher. It will be heavily focused on next level teaching skills. You’ll learn systems for creating and teaching any kind of class: vinyasa, alignment, peak pose, anatomy focused, energy, etc.. You will learn how to create workshops, master classes, retreats, and lay the groundwork for developing your own teacher training programs. You will graduate with a high confidence in your abilities and leave prepared for what’s next for you!
The Really Really Really Big Goal of Ours At the End of the Next 3 Years
The rest of 2022 and into 2024 will be a continuation of the retreats and training I’ve just described. However, our 3 year plan will culminate in the summer of 2024 when we hope to be in a position to acquire a large villa in the Italian countryside.
It’s still too far away for us to know all of the details around this, but it will likely be an old old property or farm that needs to be refurbished.
This villa will become our base, our school if you will, where we host our retreats and training programs going forward.
Our vision, our dream is that as we age into our 50s we will scale back our programs and hold just 2-3 trainings/retreats per year. The rest of the time, we will rent out our villa to our network of students for them to host their training and retreats there. Of course we love to teach, and would make ourselves available to participate if requested.
We believe we have a network large enough that we could basically only rent the space to people that we know personally, with no need for outside advertising or trying to run it as a commercial property. From there, we dream that we could work less and live la dolce vita!
Why I Make These Extensive Plans and Why I Think That They’re Essential to an Amazing Life
The first time that I made a life plan like this was in 2010. At the time I was in a career that I did not care for, and I felt that I needed to make some life changes that would not be an easy fix. I didn’t want to simply make a horizontal move into another position that I could tolerate for a few more years. In other words, I knew that it was going to take some work and effort to make the changes that I craved.
Inspired by a friend of mine who seemed to have all of his interests aligned in his professional life, I set out to combine all aspects of myself and everything that I had obtained so far – my knowledge, my interests, and my skills, into a “life vehicle” I could move forward in.
So I sat down and I mapped out 5 years of my life. I set the bar very high. In fact, I didn’t really believe at the time that I would actually accomplish everything that I listed. But, I thought that I would really push myself to see what I was capable of.
I listed all of the things that I wanted to achieve in the time frame that I wanted to achieve them in. No detail or step was left off the list. For example, some of my goals had a number of steps that needed to be completed before others could be attained. I needed to complete yoga teacher training before I could be a teacher. I needed to complete a personal training certification and first aid certification before I could become a personal trainer.
What I did was list EVERY SINGLE THING that I needed to complete in order to move forward on my goals. In the evenings while I was “burning the candle at both ends”, I would get home from work, complete my workouts and practices, eat dinner, and then sit down and review my list of goals and see what I could complete to move forward.
The culmination of my 5 year plan was to own my own fitness and yoga studio. Coming from a starting point of not having any certifications, any clients or students, and not having much savings or assets, I had a long way to go!
Anyway, to make a long story less long, I attained that studio in only 3 years. I achieved what I thought was going to be an impossible goal in less time than I originally planned. This happened simply because I was focused, and dedicated, and clear on what I needed to do next, and I consistently and diligently moved my energy into that direction.
I exceeded my “impossible” 5 year plan in only 3 years, and in the 4th year I grossed over a hundred thousand US dollars of income for the first time in my life, and I did it by selling my own services and programs that I had created.
Now, this is the 3rd time that I’ve made such a plan for myself. This time around, I have every confidence in myself that I can pull it off. Really, everything besides purchasing the villa is something that I’ve already done before. The thing is, this provides me with a focused roadmap for my business, life, and energy over the next 3 years, and it will set us up for what we perceive will be the next 20 years of our life – “the home stretch”.
What I Want You To Take Away From This Story
I believe in this method because I’ve had success with it. I know that there are books that detail this sort of thing because when I tell my story to people sometimes I get “Oh, this sounds like the method listed in this book or that book”.
I don’t read much contemporary writings, so I’m not familiar with them, but it sounds like it’s a basic and provable method for succeeding in one’s goals.
Here’s the thing… when you’re not moving forward along your path, then there’s a tendency to meander, to walk in circles, or to feel stuck and complacent. Plan out a direction and move your energy to it! Not everything will work out as planned, but I promise you new opportunities will present themselves to you that you didn’t realise were there or would be possible, simply because you’re moving along a path and discovering new vantages from which to view from.
It won’t be easy, and things won’t happen overnight. It might take years. Approach it like your asana practice. In fact this is one of the best lessons one can learn from a consistent asana practice. You show up on your mat every single day and you put in the work. Some days your practice is better than others. Some days you feel like you’re progressing, and some days you feel like you’re just going through the motions.
But, when you work your practice for years, you have moments of reflection where you recognize how far you’ve come. Sometimes it’s about the postures – you compare the poses you can do now compared to what you could do 5 years ago. Other times there are deeper truths and lessons you learn from that work like patience, empathy, and insight.
Well, approach your life in the same way. Follow your plan like you would follow your sequence. Come to it every day and work on it. I guarantee you that one day you will look around and amaze yourself at how far you’ve come!
May our paths cross again (or for the first time) at one of the places where our future plans connect! Namaste